An experimental investigation was made to determine the effect of the initial or residual stress state on rolling element fatigue life. This was done by simulating a residual stress by a mechanically applied static stress. Hoop-shaped specimens were statically stressed in both a tangential direction and a transverse direction to simulate either a biaxial tension or biaxial compression stress state and then subjected to repeated rolling contact until failure occurred. The results showed the rolling element fatigue properties for the compression state is not significantly better than the “zero” stress state, contrary to widely held opinion, and that the tensile state is detrimental to fatigue properties as expected.

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